Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean — 9.1997(1998)

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SAQQARA

ANALYSIS OF MINERAL DEPOSITS
IN THE NORTHERN WALL OF PIT I.
Elzbieta Mycielska-Dowgiallo, Barbara Woronko
The archaeological site at Saqqara is situated on a slope with
a variable surface inclination of 6-160, inclined towards the W, SW
and NW. The examined trench wall constitutes the northern limit of
the excavated site (Pit I), it is 15 m long and about 2 m high.1
At the eastern end, a layer of distinctly segregated deposits
connected with water flow appears at the bottom of the wall
(fig.l, layer 1). This series as a whole is slightly inclined westwards
(1-2°). It is composed of limestone fragments (up to several cm in
diameter) with occasional gravel and pebbles of granite, quartz and
flint, which are lacking in overlying layers. Fragments of pottery
are also encountered sporadically.
Limestone debris (fig.l, layer 2) overlies the series no.l; it
comes most probably from the excavation of the shaft situated in
the northeastern comer of the archaeological site. On the ground of
archaeological data on the shaft age, it can be concluded that the
heap of debris accumulated undoubtedly earlier than 4000 years BP
(i.e. 2050 BC), but it is still difficult to say whether it was 4300 or
4500 years BP (2350 and 2550 BC respectively). Series
no. 1 underlying the heap is obviously older. A thin layer of clay
coating covers the heap (fig.l, layer 3); it is spread over the slope
and forms part of the slope deposits (fig.l, layers 3a, 3b), which in
turn are composed of very poorly sorted limestone debris with

K. Mysliwiec and T. Herbich, with contribution by A. Niwinski, Polish Research at
Saqqara in 1987, in: ET xvii, Warsaw 1995, pp. 186-195; K. Mysliwiec, Saqqara,
Excavations 1996, in: PAM VIII, 1996 (1997), p. 109.

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